Introduction to Yoga Psychology
Updated: Sep 21
The basis of all psychological systems based on the Yogas and the Tantras is Self-Identification. The Self-identification is the primary attribution based on which there is individual, unique, perception of the world, the self and the interaction between the two.
Self-identification is necessarily psychosomatic or psychological as well as physical. It is the contention of the Yogic Sciences that it is this very attributional Self-identification that is the Base, the Source of our abilities, our disabilities, our pain and intermittent pleasure.
Now, what is to be noted here first and foremost is that Yoga Psychology does not accept substantial reality of this attributed Self or what Western psychology would call the Ego.
We do know that ourselves, bot psychological and physical, are the results (a) the combination of genetic expression unique to us and (b) of our upbringing, initial experiences and reactions to the same. This is what Western Psychology would term the combination of Nature & Nurture. So, then that is who we are, what we are – the unique combination of Nature (our genetic expression) and nurture (our upbringing etc).
If this were true, and it is, then we don’t have any free will, any real personal choice at all. Why is that? If Nature or genetic expression, over which we have no control, and Nurture, the upbringing over which we again, have no control as an infant, combine to form our established personality and body type, then where do we have choice?
Our personality, with which we Cognise, imagine, hope and plan, with which we make our ‘choices’ is pre-programmed and so is the body type we posses. So then, when we are making choices, are we making real choices, with free will? How can we, when our choices are dictated by our personality and body types and these are already established by the time we are young adults.
But here’s the difference between Yogic and other systems of Psychology. Yogic Psychology’s objective is where the difference lies. For Yogic Psychology aims to help the individual achieve FreeWill & Real Choice. This can only only be done through over-mastery of the ‘present self’.
By this process of over-mastery, one cognises Self-Consciousness beyond attributes or limitations. Only through this process of Yoga Psychology can one systematically evolve beyond the boundaries of fixed persona & imagine outside the bound of circle of individualised memory.
The integrated system of Yoga Psychology, comprising of View or Cognitive Perspective and Method or Range of Affective and Behavioral processes is the single most time-tested system psychology, being more than 5000 years old.